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CBRE: Demand for colocation space in London holds firm in face of Brexit

The latest CBRE quarterly report, charting the performance of the European colocation market, shows demand for capacity in London has so far been unaffected by the triggering of Article 50

The triggering of Article 50 in March 2017 has not dampened demand for datacentre capacity in London, quarterly market data from real estate consultancy CBRE has shown.

The company’s latest report, measuring the performance of the European colocation market during the first quarter of 2017, reported the high demand seen for datacentre space across Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris over the course of the past 12 months shows no signs of dropping off.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, 2016 is on record as being the best year for colocation take-up since CBRE first started tracking the European market, with a total of 155MW of space becoming occupied over the course of the year.

According to CBRE’s data, 2017 is shaping up to be as big a year for the market, with Q1 making the fourth successive quarter in which take-up has exceeded 24MW across all four markets.

This trend has since prompted CBRE to revise up the figures it uses to benchmark the average performance of the European colocation market, said the report.

“Prior to this we had not passed 21MW in any quarter for two years and 19MW of take-up at this time last year was considered as significantly above-par.

“Our longstanding quarterly average of 15MW of take-up across the markets can no longer be considered ‘par’,” it said.

Read more about the colocation market

Colocation providers are responding to this trend by investing in increasing the amount of capacity they have across all four markets, with CBRE predicting that around 167MW of new supply will come online over the course of the next three quarters.

“Total market supply in the four major markets reached 996MW at the end of Q1 2017. This represents an increase of over 38MW in the quarter alone and an increase in supply of 20% in the past 12 months across the Flap markets of Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris,” said the report.

“This annual growth is substantially more than the 8% CAGR in supply from 2012 to 2016.”

Demand for datacentre space remains

The bulk of the 38MW of supply mentioned was added in London and Frankfurt, with the report referencing the fact that – despite the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit – the triggering of Article 50 has done little to weaken demand for datacentre space in the capital.

Indeed, London was solely responsible for 60% of the total European take-up (17.5MW) witnessed in Q1.

“Following the triggering of Article 50 in Q1, we have not seen a decrease in demand in London to date. We may get a clearer view of its impact on decision-making towards the end of this year as details of Brexit become clearer,” said the report.

Much of this demand for space in London is coming from the cloud service provider community, who are in turn responding to user requests for locally hosted services.

“London took its excellent form from 2016 into the first quarter of 2017; we saw momentum from cloud service providers increasing their footprint in the market,” said the report.

“We predict that this will continue throughout 2017.  This strong demand gives providers the confidence to continue with build programs in the market.”

Colocation demand could increase

Andrew Jay, executive director of datacentre solutions at CBRE, said – based on the market’s Q1 performance – there is every chance 2017 could end up being an even bigger year for the European colocation market than the previous one.

“We predicted a strong 2017 in the European markets and Q1 has certainly delivered for us. Given the momentum built up in 2016, we weren’t surprised to see a strong start to the year,” said Jay.

“The key question is whether 2017 will surpass last year’s record breaking 155MW. Our view is that we will have another really strong year of at least 100MW, which is astonishing considering that the record take-up prior to 2016 was 78MW.”

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